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Section Head - Radioisotope Production Engineering and Analysis

Date: Jul 31, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8376 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a distinguished scientist and technical leader for our world class radioisotope production program. Supporting the largest radioisotope production and research portfolio within the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science for Isotope R&D and Production, as well as extensive isotope production programs for the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration, this position will grant you the opportunity to work with rare nuclear materials, and the unique facilities at ORNL, including the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC), as you guide the strategic growth of our isotope production portfolio and materials handling infrastructure.


This prestigious position as the head of the Radioisotope Production Engineering and Analysis (RPEA) Section resides within the Radioisotope Science and Technology Division (RSTD) of the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The highly accomplished staff within the RSTD use the unique facilities at ORNL, including the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC), to produce a variety of important medical, scientific, and industrial radioisotopes. These include several alpha/beta emitting radioisotopes either deployed or under clinical trial for treatment of cancer (e.g., Ac-225, Ac-227, Ra-224/Pb-212, and W-188); heavy actinides Bk-249, Es-254, and Fm-257 for fundamental chemistry research and new element discovery; Cf-252 for neutron emitting applications; Pu-238 for space exploration; and Ni-63 and Pm-147 for industrial applications. 

The RPEA Section is responsible for the design, analysis, and qualification of targets for irradiation – primarily in nuclear reactors such as HFIR - as well as the design of equipment and infrastructure for material handling.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead a research and development portfolio of applied science, with the aim to enable new and enhanced radioisotope availability, increase efficiency of production, and improve the effectiveness of material handling and processing.
  • Provide leadership and technical vision for continuous improvement in radioisotope production.
  • Provide mentoring and career guidance to a team of roughly 20 scientists, engineers, and technicians, including facilitating knowledge transfer and strategic development of early career staff.
  • Work closely with the Isotope Processing and Manufacturing Division to ensure that production procedures are robust for routine and efficient production
  • Work closely with the Research Reactors Division to ensure that target designs and qualification packages are appropriate for acceptance for irradiation in the HFIR.
  • Lead research on development of new radioisotope product lines and applications.
  • Oversee lab space management and ensure work is completed in accordance with appropriate safety, security, and quality protocols.
  • Support the division director and program managers in long term strategic planning for growth and optimization of the programs
  • Engage with the domestic and international radioisotope production community to lead workshops, working groups, and conferences
  • Serve in leadership positions in professional societies and standards development committees
  • Publish research results in peer reviewed journals and internal technical reports.
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering or similar field and a minimum of sixteen years of related experience or a PhD ant twelve years of related experience is required, with demonstrated experience in the design and analysis of materials and components for use in nuclear facilities.
  • Strong leadership and operations management skills; with demonstrated experience managing large projects, and supporting and directing the work of others
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, the ability to interface with both front line workers and supervisors as well as upper management.


 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in long term strategic planning
  • Experience in an R&D or production, testing and schedule-driven environments
  • Manufacturing or fabrication environment quality experience, i.e., NQA-1
  • A successful record of funding acquisition for applied multi-disciplinary research
  • Understanding of traditional and advanced manufacturing techniques as applied to materials in the nuclear industry

Special Requirements:

L clearance


About the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED):
Established in 2020, the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate is strengthening Oak Ridge National Laboratory's leadership in isotope production and enrichment technology innovation. ISED is guiding the Lab's pursuit of the fundamental science and technology that broadens the application of isotopes for energy, environmental, medical, and national security purposes. These efforts are made possible through the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, ORNL's other nuclear facilities, and an assemblage of world-leading scientists and engineers.  Please visit for more information about ISED.

Benefits at ORNL:
UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options.  Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, and fitness facilities.

Moving can be overwhelming and expensive.  UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process.  Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions.  If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.
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This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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